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Introduction to Research

The introduction to research course is a lab that meets 3 times the hours of the credit you receive, that is 3 hours for 4176 and 9 hours for 4376.  Do do not sign up for this course if you are not able to meet the time requirements.  Every week you will also be asked to write a short report through our lab wiki so that at the end of the semester you can write a full report of what you learned in your independent research.  You must also be co-enrolled in RSRC 4033 and attend Chemistry Seminars (mostly Fridays from 4 to 5 pm in CCSB G.0208) when possible.

Current research topics include:

  1. Conversion of Racemic Profens to (S)-Profens:  Many pharmaceuticals, pesticides, etc. like ibuprofen are sold as racemic mixtures that are less effective that the enantiomerically pure (S)-form.  We have already successfully de-racemized ibuprofen using enzymatic chemistry.  Our goal now is to extend this technology to other profens.

  2. Chameleon Displays:  Emission display technologies (LCD, Plasma, CRT) hurt our eyes, disrupt our Circadian rhythms, use too much energy (the major reason why you have to recharge your phone every day like a digital pet), and cannot be easily seen outdoors.  Absorption display technologies solves these problems but the only widely used commercial example, E-Ink, is too slow for video and only comes in monochrome.  Our goal is to synthesize dyes that electronically change their absorption quickly.

  3. Virtual Organic Laboratory the Game:  Students watch more videos and read less.  Students play more games and study less.  We wont even discuss the time people waste in social media.  Given the competition for the attention of modern students, our goal is to develop a virtual organic laboratory game that students play before coming to lab.  Our objectives are to digitize laboratory equipment using relatively inexpensive 3D cameras, to control the manipulation of the virtual equipment using relatively inexpensive motion sensors, and to use the devices that the students already own for enhanced visualization.

  4. From Monomer to 3D Movies:  We work to perfect all aspects of the production and use of optical polarizers including the manufacture of polyvinyl acetate (white glue) from vinyl acetate, polyvinyl alcohol (gel glue) from white glue, linear polarizers from gel glue, circular polarizers from linear polarizers, 3D glasses, and 3D movies (live action and animations).

  5. more topics.....

You grade will consist of 50 % attendance and 50 % your final research report.


 

jsal at utep dot edu

PSCI 308, 203C

Telephone: (915) 747-5704

Office (Lab) Hours: RF 10:30 to 1:30 in PSCI 203C or PSCI 308